The Digital Family Summit was created when we realized that many of our kids, nieces, nephews and friends’ kids were getting more and more engaged in creating blogs, digital video, Etsy storefronts, pinboards on Polyvore and Pinterest, and tweeting and Facebooking up a storm. These digital natives seem to live and breathe on the Internet – some of us parents can keep up; others have tried, but thrown up our hands and cried “uncle.”
The Digital Family Summit is a place where tweens/teens and parents at all levels of digital activity can come together to learn and grow as individuals and as a family. We’re as concerned as you are about digital safety, kids’ privacy, and online bullying, and we explore those topics at the Summit, but equally so, we are making digital creation and engagement a healthy, fun, expressive activity that encourages kids to share: with their parents as well as with their friends.
We hope parents as well as tweens and teens will learn new skills, explore new means of expression, and gain confidence in their online personas.
Stephanie Schwab is a social media strategist and digital entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Crackerjack Marketing, a hands-on social media agency providing social media strategy, training and project management to businesses and non-profits. She has 15+ years experience in digital media; the last 8 focused on social media, and has worked in PR and social media agencies as well as in management consulting. Stephanie has an MBA in Marketing and Strategic Planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Stephanie also keeps herself busy by being involved in a couple of startups: Social Media School, teaching social media to business owners and executives, and Hashtracking, a platform for the measurement of Twitter hashtag reach and efficacy. She is the mom of a 4 ½ year old digital native (though not quite a blogger yet), and a sister/cousin/aunt to a gaggle of digital natives who blog and create video. You can reach Stephanie on Twitter @stephanies or through her website at www.crackerjackmarketing.com.
Adam Gertsacov is an actor, clown, director, and educator. He has been writing, performing, and teaching for children of all ages since 1988. His many projects have included a Victorian style flea circus; a coloring/learning book about Rhode Island; historical shows about P.T. Barnum and Henry Hudson; a classical Greek tragedy using Barbie dolls as actors; a Punch and Judy election show; three circuses, one clown laureateship, and for the last nine years he has been the director of Providence RI’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, Bright Night, which features over 160 performers in 17 venues every year, and has entertained over 100,000 people.
Adam has degrees and certificates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School (B.A.), Rhode Island College (M.A.), the Ringling Brothers Clown College, the Dell’arte School of Physical Theatre, the Trinity Rep Conservatory, and the Boston School of Bartending, making him one of the most educated clowns in America (barring certain elected officials.) He has been creating and participating in digital communities since 1991. He also has a 4 ½ year old child, which is less of a coincidence than one might think. You can reach Adam on Twitter @kafclown or through his website at www.acmeclown.com.
Jennie Baird is the co-founder and CEO of BabyNameWizard.com and NameCandy.com, award-winning websites that reach 1 million visitors per month. She has over 15 years of experience as a digital media innovator, executive, creative and business leader. Before breaking free of corporate life and starting her own business, Jennie was Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of NBC Universal’s iVillage. Prior to that, she held executive positions at AOL and SmartMoney.com. She began her digital media career as a project manager on the Magic School Bus series of interactive CD-ROMs. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins and received her Master’s from the University of California.
Jennie lives in Connecticut with her husband, their five children and one shaggy dog. She is involved in special education causes including advocating for concerns related to Autism and Twice Exceptionality. In her vast spare time, Jennie likes to be outdoors and will play any type of game, although she officially gave up on video gaming after losing an entire day of her life to Myst in 1995. If you see her at the conference, feel free to challenge her to a game of Bananagrams, Dominion, Catan or whatever your favorite game is. You can reach Jennie on Twitter @JennieBaird.